Sunday, November 11, 2012

Pecans and Craisins and Chicken ... oh my!

Last time I was at Green Mill, a popular neighborhood restaurant at Grand and Hamline here in St. Paul, I ordered their Pecan Craisin Spinach Salad with Chicken. It was delish and I vowed to make it at home as soon as possible. Well, last Saturday night ended up to be the perfect time to give it a try. I might be prejudiced, but I think my version is better than theirs!
Chicken Pecan Craisin Spinach Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette
The Ingredients.
For Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
1 clove crushed garlic
1 teaspoon grainy mustard
1 pinch salt
ground black pepper to taste
For Salad:
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 box fresh spinach and spring greens mix
Gorgonzola crumbles
Toasted pecans
Sliced green onions
The Directions.
In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, garlic, and grainy mustard. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Stir in minced fresh herbs if desired.

Season chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Bake (or grill). I poured a small amount of the vinaigrette over the chicken while it was baking. Cool and slice.
Combine salad greens with Gorgonzola, pecans, craisins and green onions. Add vinaigrette and toss well. Mound salad on four plates and lay 1 sliced chicken breast over the top. Drizzle a little more vinaigrette over chicken and serve with crusty rolls.

Note: How to toast pecans.
What I like about toasting nuts is how aromatic they become, as well as the added crunchiness when they're baked. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the pecans in a single layer on a non-stick cookie sheet or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 5-7 minutes until aromatic. Watch carefully so they don't burn. Allow to completely cool and enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Funny, I did think same thing after eating a balsamic vinegar/strawberry salad at TGI Friday's once. Inspiration can come from anywhere...